A second lawmaker who was forced to seek refuge during the assault on the United States Capitol last week tested positive for COVID-19.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington State, said she tested positive and criticized Republican members of Congress who refused to wear masks during the assault despite being offered them.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and the virus seriously, and by doing so, they put everyone around them in danger,” Jayapal said. “Just hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans were still refusing to take even the bare minimum of COVID-19 precautions and simply wearing a damn face mask in a room full of people during a pandemic ”.
Jayapal is the second member of Congress to test positive for the virus. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Democratic Rep. Of New Jersey, reported Monday that she was also infected.
Both women legislators were among the dozens of representatives and senators who had to be taken to safe places when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
Some members of Congress had to huddle for hours in a room, while others were there for a shorter period.
Both legislators said they have quarantined themselves.
Jayapal called for “immediate severe fines imposed on every member who refuses to wear a mask on Capitol Hill” and that any lawmaker who refuses to wear a mask be forcibly removed immediately. “This is not a joke,” he said. “Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask must be fully responsible for endangering our lives due to their selfish idiocy.”
Over the weekend, the Capitol doctor in charge notified all legislators who may have been exposed to the virus and asked them to get tested.